Designing for Disaster 

As the hurricane season comes to a close, we've become increasingly aware (especially this year) of the dangers that come with natural disasters. For individuals in hospitals, natural disasters can be deadly. Without electricity, hospitals can no longer rely on most equipment. 

This two-week crash project had us thinking critically about problems people face during natural disasters. It was done in collaboration with Emiko Inskeep. 

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the process

The first step of this project was to create a journey map of a specific natural disaster. Researching the benefits and consequences of evacuating (or not evacuating) helped us pick our target user: patients in hospitals with no choice but to stay.  


In the event of a power outage, electronic equipment may not work. While there are usually backup generators, most patient rooms are not prioritized. For nurses, it is highly time consuming to manually keep track of all patients -- especially without light.

That's why we created LIFEWEAR. This is a battery-powered wearable worn by patients that displays the vital readings, and will alert the nurse of any danger. 


The LIFEWEAR Band works in partnership with the Vest. The band is worn by the nurse, and will display the room number of the patient if vital signs become irregular. 


The prototype included an LCD screen for displaying the readings and a blinking red LED, powered by an Ardunio and battery pack.    

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Storyboard illustrated by Emiko Inskeep. 

Storyboard illustrated by Emiko Inskeep.